County council aiming to end all road deaths by 2050

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A ghost bike by Oxford Parkway. Picture: Ed Nix
A ghost bike by Oxford Parkway. Picture: Ed Nix

OXFORDSHIRE County Council is aiming to end all road deaths and serious injuries by 2050.

The local authority’s cabinet agreed its commitment to ‘Vision Zero’ at a meeting yesterday.

The bold vision comes following the deaths of cyclists Jennifer Wong, Ellen Moilanen and Ling Felce in Oxford, all of which rocked the city.

READ AGAIN: Plans progressing to improve cyclist safety at locations of deaths

After Ms Molianen’s death near Oxford Parkway Station on February 8, a petition demanding action was delivered by Dr Alison Hill, chair of Cyclox, the cycling campaign group.

Andrew Gant, the county council’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “Recent tragic incidents on our roads have focused everyone’s minds on the vital importance on making our roads and streets safer for all users – especially the most vulnerable.

“The adoption of a Vision Zero approach for Oxfordshire signals a clear ambition and commits the council to taking a new approach.

“But we can’t achieve this alone. It will require close working with partners and stakeholders to look at infrastructure, behaviour, technology and legislation to achieve this change.”

Oxford Mail: Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management. Picture: Ed Nix
Oxford Mail: Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management. Picture: Ed Nix

Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highway management. Picture: Ed Nix

The council has set interim targets of a 25 per cent cut in casualties by 2026 and a 50 per cent reduction by 2030, before aiming to reach zero by 2050.

An initial sum of £250,000 has been identified for the Vision Zero initiatives.

Last month, the council revealed that both Oxford Parkway and The Plain, in addition to the junction of Headley Way and London Road in Headington, had been earmarked as sites where discussions had taken place to improve safety.

The locations mark where Ms Moilanen, Ms Felce and Ms Wong died.

A review of the junction at Oxford Parkway is under review.

Oxford Mail: A ghost bike by Oxford Parkway. Picture: Ed Nix
Oxford Mail: A ghost bike by Oxford Parkway. Picture: Ed Nix

A ghost bike by Oxford Parkway. Picture: Ed Nix

The county council’s cycling and active travel champion, Dan Levy, said: “As chair of the cycling safety working group, it is excellent to see words being translated into actions.

“Vision Zero is an aim of the cycling campaign groups we have been working with in the aftermath of these recent tragedies, and its successful implementation will be our commitment to the memory of the cyclists who have lost their lives.

“There is a lot we can do that won’t cost additional money, by making sure that all new highways work is done taking account of our commitment to cycling and walking.”

Dr Hill added: “To eliminate deaths and serious injury on our roads is going to require huge commitment and a change in approach from the council and its partners.

“We need to design out danger, particularly for people who cycle and walk.

“We need to take action now. We owe it to the families of those who have been killed and have suffered life-changing injuries on Oxfordshire’s roads.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice

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